Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive

Alex Prager. Chronicle, $60 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7157-9
The thought-provoking works of photographer and filmmaker Prager are presented in this extraordinary collection, giving readers a detailed glimpse into her career. Her photos, elaborately staged with vivid colors and costuming, are often cinematic in scale, resembling still frames of movies from the 1960s in both scope and size. One of Prager’s trademarks is the use of sometimes dozens of models and actors to create grand scenes that are almost dizzying to look at; each “character” tells a story, yet often there is an underlying current of loneliness. Prager has a fascination with such themes as alienation and the blurred lines between illusion and reality; Four Girls is a tense showdown of superficiality, while Irene shows a woman sitting alone in a rain-drenched taxi cab, neon advertisements hauntingly the only things bright enough to shine through the gloom. An interview with Prager provides an honest and refreshing behind-the-scenes discussion with the artist, yet additional critical essays by contributors are somewhat academic. But that’s a slight detraction in an excellent work that will most appeal to Prager’s ardent fans. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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